Basic Information About Becoming a CNA


Of all the different careers and that you can choose, the path to becoming a CNA is relatively straightforward, even though most people don’t understand it. It basically involves complying with simple regulations, taking your CNA classes, and then doing your state-level testing. Once you pass the state-level tests, then you can go out and search for a job. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, obviously there are some nuances here and there, but that’s the basic idea. Let’s break down those steps a bit further.

To begin with, you’ll need to comply with some basic regulations such as being 18 years of age or older, being able to pass a background check, and making sure that you are current on your immunizations and aren’t infected with tuberculosis and certain other infections. These qualifications may vary from state to state, so it’s important to check with the state where you live to be sure that you’re taking the right steps to meet their regulations.

If you meet the preliminary qualifications, you can find a school that teaches CNA classes and register. After you complete your registration, you’ll typically be able to begin taking your classes. It is important to note that many institutions, especially today in 2016, offer the option of CNA certification classes online. By offering CNA classes online the institutions are able to cut costs, offer greater flexibility, and enroll more students. This is often a win-win for both the training center or school, as well as the nursing student. Once a CNA program is selected, then you will proceed with the training.

This training may last for a few months, depending upon how often you attend class, but it may last longer depending on the school and other factors. If you are someone who can only attend class on the weekends, it might take you longer to finish than someone who is able to attend class five nights per week. Some CNA programs may have more flexible options than others, and you’ll need to make sure you get all of the details about the programs that you’re interested in so you know that they fit your schedule.

After you complete both the classroom and hands-on portions of your classes, you may be ready to take your state exam. In most states there may be a two part exam which may include a written and physical skills test. The reason for the two part exam is that you’ll need to demonstrate some of your CNA skills to the examiner before you will be granted your license. They’ll want to make sure that you actually know how to perform the skills, and that you didn’t just study from a book or memorize text. In some states you may receive notification that you passed your test right away, and in other states, you may receive notification a few days or so after the test. Once you have passed your test you’ll typically be listed in the state nursing directory where potential employers can verify the status of your license. At this point, you’ll be ready to begin looking for a job because you’ll have finished the CNA certification process. One last thing to remember is that it’s always important that you check with your state to make sure that you’re completing the right steps because this process can be vary from state to state.

The Top 10 Interesting Things to Know About Certified Nursing Assistants

1) Being a CNA can be an extremely rewarding career. Some people may report that they get a great amount of joy from helping other people, and seeing their patients living an easier life because they are there to help.

2) Certified Nursing Assistants typically earn a fair wage, $12 per hour in the US on average. Sure, it’s not as high as an RN, but they don’t have to be in school as long as an RN, and it may be a higher wage than what you’d earn for working unskilled labor or a retail job in many cases.

3) The process of becoming a CNA isn’t as confusing as many people think. Sure, you need to meet some preliminary qualifications, and attend class and pass the state test, but that’s the general flow of things, and it won’t take to all that long to get through it.

4) CNA training may vary in length compared to other nursing disciplines, such as RN, BSN, and other careers. It may be as short as a few months (depending upon your state regulations), and because of that it’s possible that it may be able to be completed sooner. This may not always be the case though, and there is not set rule on how long training is for any specific school, etc. This can depend largely on the choices of a student as well as other various factors.

5) CNAs may be able to work in a number of locations, such as hospitals, nursing homes, doctor’s offices, and other health care facilities such as hospice centers.

6) The career outlook for Certified Nursing Assistants is quite good. As long as there are sick people, someone will need to care for them, pursuing education to become a CNA is not a waste of time; it’s not a fad career that won’t be around in a few years. According to the BLS, the rate of growth for CNAs is “faster than average.”

7) Becoming a CNA is a great way to find out if you like nursing without a big investment of time or money. You can spend a little money and time to get your CNA certification, and if you don’t like it, you won’t have wasted two to four years in school to be an RN and a lot of money.

8) If you do like it, you can study to become an RN while you are working as a CNA. This is a path that some people choose because it gives them career experience and money to pay for their RN degree.

9) Being a CNA will help build your caregiving skills, and those skills can transfer to another medical career, even if you decide to leave the nursing profession. As an EMT, phlebotomist, or other medical professional, you’ll still need some of the basic skills you learn as a CNA.

10) In some states, you may be able to take a portion of your training online. You won’t be able to take all of it online, but depending upon where you live, you might be able to take part of the lecture section of the class online, and that may help to free up your schedule and make it easier for you to complete your training if you’re someone who is pressed for time.